Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, yesterday, revealed that erstwhile President Muhammadu Buhari had wanted Senator Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora to be his running mate.
Mustapha, who spoke during a ‘thank you’ dinner, organised by the Oluwafemi Akinbode-led Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in Abuja, said Mamora was one of the members of the Federal Executive Council that Buhari held in high esteem.
The former SGF, however, did not expatiate whether Buhari’s preference for Mamora was prior to his second term in office or in the build up to the 2015 poll, when President Bola Tinubu, then national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was said to have nominated Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate.
Recalling that his path crossed that of Mamora in his days as deputy national chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, he explained that Buhari’s decision to appoint Mamora as Minister of Science and Technology, after serving as Minister of State for Health spoke volume of the relationship between them.
Mustapha also referred to the nomination of Mamora as director, contact and mobilisation, and deputy director general of the APC campaign council for the 2015 and 2019 polls as testimony of the confidence reposed on Mamora by Buhari.
CAPPA’s executive director, Akinbode, conferred the award for Lifetime Commitment to Public Health on Mamora, expressing appreciation to him for the role he played in passage of the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA). He called on public office holders and other highly placed Nigerians to emulate Mamora by entrenching positive change in the country.
Mamora, who served as a two-term senator, recalled that enacting the Tobacco Control Act was a tough battle because lobbyists sponsored by tobacco manufacturers worked tooth and nail to stall its passage at the National Assembly.
The event was attended by dignitaries, including former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel; former women affairs minister, Paulen Tallen; serving and former ministers; national and states Assembly members; health professionals and civil society organisations.